Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A big honkin' cross

In Mississippi, a church wants to build a humongous (110 feet!) cross on their property by I-20. "The project is sponsored by 'Crosses Across America,' a non-profit group that builds giant crosses along the nation’s highways." (The pastor is quoted as saying "They were led by the Holy Spirit to seek a location in Mississippi. 92,000 cars a day travel along the Interstate 20 corridor. Those are people who need hope, who need inspiration." Because obviously the people in those cars have never seen a cross before. But I digress.)

The city's planning commission voted it down, apparently mostly because it is, as I said, humongous (it is eleven stories high, whereas the tallest structure in the city right now is two stories). Although the local law says an "auxiliary structure" can only be twenty feet high, the planning commission has offered a very reasonable compromise of permitting a 50-foot cross. The pastor complains, "Our problem with that is that we want to make an impact. We want to make a statement. And it’s on church property."

Alas, it's a longstanding rule of law that we do not have an absolute right to do anything we want with our property. My daughter would love to keep a horse on our third-acre lot, but the city, quite rightly, won't allow me to do so. Nor would it be kind to the horse, but that's beside the point. At least a 110-foot cross doesn't produce large quantities of manure, but there are other considerations involved in zoning. As the Rolling Stones pointed out, you can't always get what you want.

You will be unsurprised to learn that advocates of the cross are crying persecution (there were "accusations on social networking websites that the no-vote was an attack on Christians"), and have launched a Facebook page to support the cross.

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